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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6236904, 13 pages
Research Article

Aqueous Extracts of Herba Cistanche Promoted Intestinal Motility in Loperamide-Induced Constipation Rats by Ameliorating the Interstitial Cells of Cajal

1Suzhou Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215009, China
2Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210023, China
3Department of Anorectal Surgery, Jiangsu Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210029, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Hai-hua Qian

Received 24 May 2017; Revised 5 October 2017; Accepted 25 October 2017; Published 28 December 2017

Academic Editor: Samra Bashir

Copyright © 2017 Shuai Yan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Traditional Chinese medicine was reported to have good effects in treating functional constipation. This work attempted to prove the effects of aqueous extracts of Herba Cistanche (AEHC) on STC treatment and to determine the possible mechanisms by a loperamide-induced slow transit constipation (STC) model. HPLC was performed for identification and confirmation of the bioactive components in the AEHC. It was found that AEHC attenuated STC responses based on increased fecal quantity, moisture content, and intestinal transit rate, as well as serum levels of GAS, MTL, SS, and CGRP. The protein and mRNA levels of c-kit, a labeling of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC), also increased. Meanwhile, only the protein level of SCF, a ligand of c-kit, increased. The analysis of our data suggested that AEHC could obviously improve the function of ICC via a signaling pathway involving PI3K, SCF, and c-kit and enhance colonic motility indices such as GAS, MTL, SS, and CGRP. It is interesting to note that AEHC appeared to be effective on constipation, so further experiments are necessary to clarify the exact mechanisms involved.